Steve Iervolino, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Back in 2010, Star Wars: The Clone Wars voice actress Ashley Eckstein wanted to let her fan flag fly, but she couldn’t.
“I’m a big fangirl and I wanted Star Wars clothes made for me, and at the time they didn’t exist,” she told ABC Radio.
The petite blonde — who voiced Star Wars‘ first tween Jedi character, Padawan Ahsoka Tano in Clone Wars, and now plays a grown-up Ahsoka in Star Wars: Rebels — was determined to change things. “Half of all Star Wars fans are women and girls, and you know, 85 percent of all consumer purchases are made by women,” she noted, adding, “I thought you know, I’m not a mathematician but these numbers are not adding up. If you make us stuff, we will buy it.”
It turned out to be a million dollar idea and then some. She launched Her Universe, and soon the clothing line grew. Securing the lucrative Star Wars license from Lucasfilm was a coup for the spunky start-up: one that led to licenses to make clothing celebrating other beloved series, such as The Walking Dead, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek and Dr. Who.
Her idea led to Eckstein being hailed on lists like Good Housekeeping‘s recent Awesome Women ranking, and to a just-launched Marvel clothing line, featuring dresses and other items unveiled over the weekend at New York Comic Con.
“These are iconic characters and so we wanted to do a collection just celebrating the women,” she explained, noting they often didn’t get the credit they deserved in the shadow of Iron Man and the like. “There’s something so inspirational about Agent Carter and now all these characters — I mean, Black Widow, obviously for the past several years, but then, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel [in an upcoming movie] is causing everyone to go crazy. So it’s an exciting time to be a fangirl.”
Lucasfilm and Marvel are owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.
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